Need to 'scrupulously' follow existing agreements: India on Ladakh row

By PTI

NEW DELHI: India on Thursday once again pressed China for “scrupulously” following the existing agreements on the management of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), three days ahead of the 16th round of military talks on the eastern Ladakh border row.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said it is essential that “appropriate agreements between India and China of 1993 and 1996 are scrupulously followed”.

He was replying to a question on the lingering row in eastern Ladakh during a media briefing.

Bagchi also referred to a statement by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to emphasise that India will never accept any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo along the LAC.

India has been pressing for quick disengagement of troops from all the remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh, insisting that peace and tranquillity along the border are prerequisites for progress in overall ties.

India has been maintaining that the bilateral ties were predicated on the maintenance of peace and tranquillity along the border areas in accordance with various agreements and pacts the two sides sealed since 1993.

The two sides are set to hold the 16th round of high-level military talks on July 17 to resolve the issues in the remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh.

The last round of talks between the Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) took place on March 11.

In the fresh round of talks, the Indian side is expected to press for disengagement of troops as soon as possible in all the remaining friction points besides seeking resolution of issues in Depsang Bulge and Demchok.

The situation in eastern Ladakh figured prominently in last week’s talks between EAM Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Bali.

At the one-hour meeting in Bali on the sidelines of a conclave of foreign ministers of the G20 nations, Jaishankar conveyed to Wang the need for early resolution of all the outstanding issues in eastern Ladakh.

He also said that the relationship between the two countries should be based on “three mutuals” — mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interests.

“Recalling the disengagement achieved in some friction areas, the external affairs minister reiterated the need to sustain the momentum to complete disengagement from all the remaining areas to restore peace and tranquillity in the border areas,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

The MEA further said that Jaishankar “reaffirmed the importance of fully abiding by bilateral agreements and protocols, and the understandings reached between the two ministers during their previous conversations.”

The eastern Ladakh border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas.

Both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.

As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year in the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area.

Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the sensitive sector.

NEW DELHI: India on Thursday once again pressed China for “scrupulously” following the existing agreements on the management of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), three days ahead of the 16th round of military talks on the eastern Ladakh border row.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said it is essential that “appropriate agreements between India and China of 1993 and 1996 are scrupulously followed”.

He was replying to a question on the lingering row in eastern Ladakh during a media briefing.

Bagchi also referred to a statement by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to emphasise that India will never accept any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo along the LAC.

India has been pressing for quick disengagement of troops from all the remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh, insisting that peace and tranquillity along the border are prerequisites for progress in overall ties.

India has been maintaining that the bilateral ties were predicated on the maintenance of peace and tranquillity along the border areas in accordance with various agreements and pacts the two sides sealed since 1993.

The two sides are set to hold the 16th round of high-level military talks on July 17 to resolve the issues in the remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh.

The last round of talks between the Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) took place on March 11.

In the fresh round of talks, the Indian side is expected to press for disengagement of troops as soon as possible in all the remaining friction points besides seeking resolution of issues in Depsang Bulge and Demchok.

The situation in eastern Ladakh figured prominently in last week’s talks between EAM Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Bali.

At the one-hour meeting in Bali on the sidelines of a conclave of foreign ministers of the G20 nations, Jaishankar conveyed to Wang the need for early resolution of all the outstanding issues in eastern Ladakh.

He also said that the relationship between the two countries should be based on “three mutuals” — mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interests.

“Recalling the disengagement achieved in some friction areas, the external affairs minister reiterated the need to sustain the momentum to complete disengagement from all the remaining areas to restore peace and tranquillity in the border areas,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

The MEA further said that Jaishankar “reaffirmed the importance of fully abiding by bilateral agreements and protocols, and the understandings reached between the two ministers during their previous conversations.”

The eastern Ladakh border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas.

Both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.

As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year in the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area.

Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the sensitive sector.